FRANKLIN LOAN CENTER GAME OF THE WEEK: La Verne 10-Year-Old All Stars Act Like Champions

July 6, 2010
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Joe De Fina unleashes a fastball.

Joe De Fina unleashes a fastball.

When American author F. Scott Fitzgerald said “There are no second acts in American lives,” he had obviously never seen the La Verne Little League 10-year-old all stars play, a team that defeated Glendora American 19-5 on July 5 at Henderson Field.

In the second inning of their game against the Americans, La Verne scored 11 runs on eight hits, two walks and a hit batter. By the time Griffin Mulvey was thrown out at first by Glendora’s right fielder (yes, it was that kind of inning – Mulvey was guilty of hitting the ball too sharply to right), 16 batters had stepped up to the plate. By contrast, for the entire game, Glendora made only 19 plate appearances.

The inning started innocently enough. Glendora American pitcher issued a free pass to Luke Russell before Tanner Siffert and Ben Wolfe laid down perfect back-to-back bunts to load the bases faster than you can say, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Back to the top of the line-up and with the bases loaded, shortstop Nolan (don’t just call me a soccer player) O’ Laughlin rapped a one-run single to put La Verne up 3-0. Tommy Delgado, who would be the hitting star of the game with three hits in four official at-bats, walked to force in another run.

Aiding his own cause, pitcher Del Fina kept the scoring parade going with a two-run double to run the score to 6-0. Glendora made a pitching change, but the move only cooled the La Verne bats temporarily. A wild pitch to Mulvey allowed Delgado to score from third. After Matt Kurnick popped out to second base, Nick Litwin singled. With runners on second and third, John Martinez had a ground-out RBI to make the score 8-0.

With two outs, La Verne still wasn’t through. Pinch hitter Randy Fertig banged a one-run single, then Wolfe followed with an RBI double to put La Verne up 10-0. Back to the top of the line-up again, O’Laughlin promptly singled a second time. Delgado followed with an infield single and RBI. Then Del Fina singled to drive in his third run of the game. Only when Mulvey ripped a ball to right did the inning end when the right fielder nipped Mulvey at first.

Manager Jim Wolfe addresses the team moments after the game.

Manager Jim Wolfe addresses the team moments after the game.

After two innings, La Verne led 13-0. La Verne went on to score two more runs in the third and four in the fourth to win 19-5. Besides Delgado who collected three hits, O’Laughlin, De Fina, Kurnik, Litwin, Siffert and Wolfe had two base hits each.

The boys put on a great offensive display.

“Our kids were excited to play,” said La Verne Manager Jim Wolfe. “They were tired of practicing.”

While many teams saw action before the start of the holiday weekend, La Verne didn’t get to start play until the tail end of the Independence Day weekend.

“We’re a good hitting team, yet we know how to play small ball,” added Wolfe, who noted the big second inning started with a walk and a pair of bunts that set the table for the huge offensive explosion.

What might be even scarier is Wolfe’s admission that the team’s speed, defense and pitching might even be better than the team’s offense. He certainly had an argument on Monday. Del Fina, O’Laughlin, Delgado and Kurnik all looked sharp on the mound, and Wolfe said he would hand the ball right back to all but Del Fina (limited by pitch count) today in their game against Ted Green.

For one day at least, the boys from La Verne proved the author of The Great Gatsby wrong. There are not only second acts in Amerian lives. When La Verne comes to bat, there are third, and fourth and fifth and sixth acts, as well.

The next chapter unfolds today at 5:30 at Henderson Field.

FRANKLIN LOAN CENTER: Where your home financing needs are met with honest, responsible, experienced consultants, 333 East Foothill Blvd., San Dimas, Marc Burns, Branch Manager, (909) 962-6351,

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